Topics: Sociology, Crime, Criminology Pages: 4 (1284 words) Published: December 5, 2014


Distinguish between crime as a social and a sociological problem. To what extent should sociologists attempt to combat the social problem of crime?

Before we distinguish between crime as social problem and a sociological problem we must first understand what crime is. ‘Crime refers to those activities that break the law of the land and are subject to official punishment’, (Clinards, MB, 1974). In simple terms crime is defined by the law and acts of legislation. To commit a crime you have to break the law implemented by the people of the land and which you are punished for when breaking these laws. Look at hseet.) Crime is also known as a deviant act. You can’t carry out a crime without being deviant. Deviance and crime are both mainly created by society. (Becker 1963) had said that ‘social groups create deviance by making the rules whose infraction constitutes deviance’. Becker here is saying that there would be no crime or deviance if society had no laws implemented.

Deviance is known as a broader category of behaviour. It is very difficult to explain what a deviant act is. Different cultures, places and places will consider different acts deviant. In one society one act may be considered deviant at the time but as time moves forward it may not be considered deviant as people then see it as being a social problem. For example today in Muslim it is considered a deviant and unacceptable act for woman to show any part of her legs past her ankles while today in Ireland it is completely acceptable. Crime can be both a social problem and a sociological problem. While many people may think they are more or less the same this essay will show the difference between the two. We regard a social problem as a problem which is defined by its members of society. (Spector and Kitsuse 1987: 75-76) define a social problem as: ‘the activities of individuals or groups making assertions of grievances and claims with respect to some putative conditions. The...
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